Reviewed by Nancy
2 out of 5 stars
Since high school, Tamotsu has watched his best friend Aki grow from a rebellious but musically talented teenager to one of the most popular music artists in Japan. Though he’s been secretly in love with Aki for years, enduring the endless string of admirers Aki takes for lovers, Tamotsu suffers silently because he knows deep down that he is really the one person in the world Aki turns to for true friendship and solace.
But when Aki unveils an unknown and haunting love song he’s composed in secret during a concert, Tamotsu fears that Aki has finally found someone he can have a lasting relationship with. Only such a deep, abiding passion could inspire a song that beautiful.
Is Aki really saying good bye to him in the only way he can, through his music? Or is Aki telling Tamotsu something else?
"His breath shortened as Aki began to sing, a slow, heart-rending ballad about unrequited love and the tremors of his heart in the presence of the one who was completely unaware.”
In many ways this was similar to Soy Sauce Face. Two Japanese men deeply in love for years and unable to express their feelings toward each other, one physically slight while the other is hardened from manual labor, and one very loyal and protective while the other flits from one loveless relationship to another.
While reading about Jun and Tomo’s relationship made me feel like I was cocooned in a warm blanket, Aki and Tamotsu felt a little distant, making it difficult for me to connect with them. I suspect much of that had to do with the third-person narration, which felt like all telling and not much showing.
By the end of this competently written short story, I was unable to summon a single emotion.